Political Correctness and the Cartoon Network

I understand this is old news, but I ran into my first instance of this today. They edited a Tom and Jerry cartoon to eliminate a “blackface” reference in the Thanksgiving one where he gets hit in the tail by a candle, and then in the back of the head with a champagne bottle. Some of you who have been lifelong fans like me recognize the episode simply by description. Well, their edits completely threw the cartoon off at the end, and me as well, since I was wondering for a second what the hell had happened. Then I remembered. It was one of the infamous PC edits. Interestingly enough, they let Tom keep the Indian headdress and did the peace pipe thing at the end. Go figure.

So, I look up some stuff on the Internet, and lo and behold I find out why I never see Speedy Gonzales cartoons anymore. He’s been banned.

So, the question begs to be asked: Who do they think they’re fooling with this stuff? I have every single cartoon memorized, and I notice when stuff changes. I can tell you from the introductory music whether it’s a good cartoon or not. So they edit the cartoon, and expect people not to notice? This is equivalent to the old Russian picture edits, where everyone knows there was something there but the space is eerily blank.

This has been a situation of PC run amuck. I watched them when I was younger, hell, everyone did, and I don’t think a single one of us can say with a straight face that Tom and Jerry or Looney Tunes has greatly influenced our worldviews. Yet now they’re editing cartoons for my son? Good thing they made that decision for me, I wouldn’t know what to do had they not. My son might have been exposed to blackface, or dumb Indians trying to thwart a TALKING RABBIT. See how silly the whole thing is?

Give me a break. And while you’re at it, Cartoon Network, bring back the unedited cartoons. Either that, or just don’t show them.

Here ya go, Doors.

You realize they kept a lot of stuff back from us in the 70s, right?

Not quite as eviscerated as the latest showings, abridged nonetheless.

The idiocy starts with people thinking that they’re intended for children in the first place.

Airman, this is the reason I’ve stopped watching Cartoon Network, the motherfuckers. This PC crap is going too far; I first noticed T&J had changed when the calves and voice of the aproned black woman “THOMAS!!!” had been changed to a matronly white lady’s. Now they’ve fucked with the Thanksgiving episode? That’s too far. Next they’ll be cutting the teapot scenes from Oscar-winners like Yankee Doodle Mouse because they glorify explosions?

Naaah, they’ll probably just ban them altogether so your son can enjoy the placid commercialization of the ChocoBot Hour.

I recommend picking them up on tape or DVD. Your son will thank you when he’s our age.

What was offensive about Speedy Gonzales? He was a hero defending the downtrodden against the tyranical Daffy Duck.

(A duck against mice? Oh, whatever…)

I’m still POed that they turned Space Ghost into a bumbleheaded talkshow host. I guess they couldn’t show his original cartoons, since they glorified explosions and violence. Well, dammit, space is a dangerous place!

IMHO, cartoons are are a way of making us laugh at current events that are otherwise beyond humor. PC has gelded the cartoon industry; Pogo would have a tough time running as Walt Kelly drew the strip.

Here are images the present generation will never see, unless they work to preserve their right to have access to art and literature which others deem offensive.

I was pulled aside in junior high for having ‘Lord of the Flies’, and my parents were called. Why that novel caused such a stir is beyond me, still.

My daughter is too young to embrace these issues, but when she gets a bit older, I will encourage her to seek knowledge, and not take “no” as a simple answer.

The seed of query, planted in a rich soil of resource, becomes strong, when teachers, parents, and peers prune and nurture the plant.

The networks are also sanitizing all gun violence from Warner Brothers cartoons.

Editing a Warner Brothers Cartoon should earn one hard time on multiple felony counts.

Fucking politically correct butchers!

On the other hand, they gave us Samurai Jack, the finest made-for-TV cartoon (and one of the most violent) America has ever seen.

That forgives a lot.

Personally, I think the racial humor of old is inappropriate for today’s kids, and shouldn’t be marketted to them. It shouldn’t be editted either, but put on late at night after Family Guy and Futurerama.

Airman, just curious, but do you get similarly enraged when networks bleep swearwords out of the movies they show? It’s television. Everything is going to be edited. Sometimes for content, usually just for time. Snipping out a couple jokes here and there to free up room for one more commercial. I take it for granted that, if I’m watching something on TV, I’m not watching the whole thing.

Second question is, how much of the blame for this lies with the Cartoon Network, and how much with the studios who own the cartoons? I know Warner Brothers is sitting on a bunch of racist WWII cartoons that they don’t let any network air, and usually hold back from the video and DVD compilations. Do they also control the edits you see on Cartoon Network? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this decision is entirely out of their hands.

Mr B

This change was made decades ago. I remember seeing the cartoons with the original “black lady” voice and then laer seeing the same cartoons with the “society white lady” voice (although the visuals of the apron-wearing domestic were unchanged). Can’t hang this one on the Cartoon Network specifically.


I have a feeling I’m being wooshed here. Anyway, the SGC2C show frequently featured clips from the original SG cartoons. I don’t think the format of the talk show had anything to do with any proscription on showing the original SG cartoons (don’t they turn up on the late night “Boomeraction” show?). A lot of the original cartoons like SG and Birdman and the other action/adventure shows are parked on Boomerang so that Cartoon Network can show more original programming and the endless hours of awful dreadful boring Japanimation.

I remember seeing “Space Ghost” cartoons on Cartoon Network, including a couple within “Cartoon Planet”, the spin-off of “SGCTC”.

Except for the “Censored 11” (which have not seen light of day (officially - the underground is alive and well)), the reason that CN does not show something is because CN does not want to show it.

The Speedy thing was blamed on Ted Turner - as I understand it, CN now shows some Speedy cartoons.

For the best collection of WB 'toons, see the old laserdiscs - MGM was using the WB vault as a cash cow, and issued 100’s of uncut cartoons - including some that you will not see (at least in recognizable form) on TV for a very long time.

And don’t expect the WB DVD’s to develop backbone anytime soon either.

It’s funny when cartoon characters turn into pickaninnies after things explode in their faces. I laugh so hard when I see that, LAWS YES!

And I also like it when dice fall out of the black lady’s pockets on T&J. Reminds me that after I log off dis here internet, I gotta go play craps out by the licka sto’!

Oddly, south-of-the-border Speedy was quite popular, since he was always outwitting Daffy or Sylvester, who were understood to be gringos. And of course, he was always “liberating” the cheese for his poor fellow-mice.

Look at the bright side - all the folks who made those cartoons are dead. Happy?

And go find “Coal Balck and de Sebben Dwarfs” (officially buried since 1968) - it is routinely rated as one of the top 50 cartoons of all time - it is sometimes available on ebay - check it out, then I can give you some more to look up - “September in the Rain” comes to mind.

Pickaninnies are one thing - cutting any depiction of a black person because they were drawn with large lips is another.

And cutting explosions, suicides, gunshots - they are nuts!

p.s. - laserdiscs have no anti-copy encryption, and DVD burners are getting real cheap, which is why the WB lasers are going cheap on ebay - people are (illegally! GASP!) copying the lasers to DVD, then re-selling the lasers.

I’m sure they have plenty of blackface acts on tape if you simply must show your kids blackface. For some reason, CN thinks that most American parents don’t want their kids seeing that stuff.

This is hardly something new. Compare the violence and raunchy language of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman with the sanitized crap version that was released in America as Battle of the Planets 30 years ago.

You miss the point.

First of all, the cartoons now no longer have continuity, thus are not as amusing as they were before. Second, they now deny history, like “Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips”. Oh, we mustn’t offend a country that attacked us by showing a historical cartoon or anything. Third, I don’t need CN to be a nanny for my kid. And last, if parents are sooooooo afraid of seeing the Bogeyman, then may I suggest just turning the TV off, or selectively editing what programs are being viewed yourself.

As I said before, nobody grew up to be a serial killer or a Grand Wizard of the KKK by watching Bugs Bunny tricking Elmer into blowing Daffy’s beak off, or Mammy beating hell out of Tom when he jacks up the kitchen. After 50 years of showing these cartoons, only NOW are people offended by this? Bullshit. The only people offended are people looking for stuff to be offended by.

Well, I have a hard time finding a nice, tasteless episode of “Cow and Chicken” anymore.

Airman, I’d like to add one thing to your last post: my personal experience with these kinds of cartoons actually opened me up to racial sensitivity at an early age. My father always watched cartoons with me, up until sometime around my entry into the fifth grade. I was an inquisitive kid, yes, but my dad always had a chance to interject when something sensitive would come on, like blackface, a suicide or a racially-insensitive voice. Some of it still sticks with me today.

I have always been of the opinion that history – even the history represented in cartoons – should be honestly represented to our children.